I received this book through the publisher (Orbit) via NetGalley.
I thought the premise of this looked rather fun, but I really had no idea what to exp...moreI received this book through the publisher (Orbit) via NetGalley.
I thought the premise of this looked rather fun, but I really had no idea what to expect. I've done my share of road trips and I like road trip stories, and something about a minotaur girl as a lead character really appealed to me.
The verdict? I adored this book. I've been under a lot of stress this week, and Helen and Troy was perfect--light, fluffy, and carefree with its humor. It made me laugh out loud more than once, and made me smile constantly. I can't say that about many books. Oh, and the humor is perfectly clean, too.
Helen is a teenage girl. She's also a minotaur. It's a hereditary thing and it's rather awkward at times. She works at a burger joint. One of her co-workers is Troy, a guy whose major character traits are the fact that he's Asian and that he's perfect in just about every way. It seems like another day for them at work until their boss tries to sacrifice Helen to a long-gone god, who then is mildly resurrected in a pile of hamburger. Helen survives, but she and Troy end up branded and forced to take on the Lost God's quest across a western United States that features kitschy tourist traps that might actually be death traps.
It's just plain fun. At one point they meet the fates (note the lowercase) in a run-down store in the middle of nowhere. "[The fates] are a franchise thing... Like Stuckey's, but with more prognostication." There's also a fabulous plot line involving orc motorcycle gang.
I loved how Martinez explored the idea of stereotypes through Helen and Troy. People have expectations of a minotaur, and they expect different things from a male or female. Troy also is pigeon-holed as "good-looking Asian guy." They both fight against their assigned roles in society, and they grow a lot in the process. It brings a deep philosophical angle to the story, though it never loses its lightness. I read a number of urban fantasy series that feature some humor (like Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid books), but the humor there is used to lighten some otherwise dark, gritty stuff. It was a joy to read pure humor for a change, and I discovered a new author to look for, too.(less)
I received this as a gift. I read The Oatmeal on occasion and appreciate his wit and unique perspective. This book was a fast read, and not a very eve...moreI received this as a gift. I read The Oatmeal on occasion and appreciate his wit and unique perspective. This book was a fast read, and not a very even one for me. A large section was devoted to The Bobcats, and I just plain didn't like that part very much. Other chapters made me laugh out loud, including the titular comics, "If we treated our cats like they treat us," and "Homeless Man Vs. Your Cat."(less)
The publisher sent me this book by accident--I was supposed to get another title--but it was really a delightful mistake. I adored this book. Even tho...moreThe publisher sent me this book by accident--I was supposed to get another title--but it was really a delightful mistake. I adored this book. Even though I'm a geek, I'm not in the target demographic at all. The book is targeted for single men, though most of the information is highly relevant to women and that issue is addressed right at the start. As for me: I've been married for thirteen years, since I was 20. I don't need dating advice at this point; more like, advice on how to tell my husband, nicely, to pick up his socks off the floor for the &^% time.
But as I mentioned before, I'm a geek. At my wedding, I walked down the aisle to the Final Fantasy theme--something I had planned since I was 11. I married a like-minded geek. We're raising a Portal-obsessed mini geek.
Therefore, I related to this book in a major way. The text is laced with a constant stream of game and comic-inspired metaphors. They might annoy some people, but I got a huge kick out of it. I knew I'd love the book when, just a few pages in, the author described how he had grown to maturity and re-played Chrono Trigger along the way and named Marle for different crushes and girlfriends.
The illustrations are all 8-bit inspired and kept making me smile. The tips in the book run the full gamut. A lot of time is spent on how-to-meet girls, how to find common ground, and what not to do. The attitude is extremely healthy here and emphasizes that even if she says no or things don't go well, you're gaining EXP and it all adds up. Smith provides tips on preparing for the date, how to dress (and smell), and how to know things are getting serious. The subject of sex is addressed but not dwelt on, but it really felt like the perfect amount of attention to the subject.
I really wish this book had existed in the late '90s. So does my husband. I often paused to read him funny excerpts as I went through. So Eric Smith, if you find a way to rip a hole in time and space, please send this book to my 18-year-old self. Sure, some of the reference won't make any sense ("What's this Portal game and talk of cakes?") but you reference Final Fantasy (even the opera in VI!) and Star Wars and lots of other things that make me happy.
The book won't be published until December, but if you're a geek in need of a date (or married like me, and want a fun read) this is one to add to your wish list now.(less)
I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program.
If you're a cat lover (or even if you're not), you've likely seen some of the Si...moreI received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program.
If you're a cat lover (or even if you're not), you've likely seen some of the Simon's Cat cartoons on Youtube. They are charming and well-animated, capturing the persistent, loving, and sometimes aggravating nature of the cat, and his well-meaning "owner." This translates remarkably well to book form in Simon's Cat in Kitten Chaos.
One word description for the book: adorable.
I was impressed by the length of the book; it's 240 pages long. There are no words in the majority of the book, the exception being a small "how to draw" section at the back. This can be read by early readers or people of any language. The behavior of cats is universal. The antics inside show cat meeting kitten, and chaos does indeed ensure. The first section shows the cats indoors, while the end has them in the glorious outside where they encounter all sorts of other animal friends. It's worth it to pause for a while and take in all the details that Tofield weaves into the backgrounds or into the nuances of the animals' behavior.
This is the kind of book you need after a bad day. I read it and smiled as I flipped through. I couldn't help it. A few panels even made me laugh out loud.(less)
I received this ARC through NetGalley, and stopped reading at 26%.
The book has a lot of promise. It's a wacky urban fantasy, featuring a condominium c...moreI received this ARC through NetGalley, and stopped reading at 26%.
The book has a lot of promise. It's a wacky urban fantasy, featuring a condominium complex where fallen angels are bound, and where a board holds daily meetings to plot the demise of the world. It's laugh out loud funny at times, but chapter after chapter, it felt like an endless stream of weirdness without a coherent plot to tie everything together. Really, I can see this as a fantastic setting for short stories. But as a novel? I became more frustrated as I read, and finally gave up. (less)
This is a humor book for journalists. I'm a writer and an avid news reader, so I was able to enjoy much of the humor even though I've never endured th...moreThis is a humor book for journalists. I'm a writer and an avid news reader, so I was able to enjoy much of the humor even though I've never endured the newsroom slog. I have enjoyed the posts by "the Bureau Chiefs" (aka the authors) on Facebook and knew I wanted to read their book. The wit is consistent, enough to make me smile as I read, but there were only a few times I laughed out loud.
Many of the chapters featured a glossary, and this was often my favorite part. There were definitions such as the one for "firewall" in the internet chapter, "Magical spell that protects computer from intrusion by setting intruding computers on fire. Requires a mage of third level or higher to cast." In the sports chapter, "hat trick:" When a hockey player makes a bunny appear on the ice out of NOWHERE!" There's actually a whole section on understanding hockey penalties, which I need to have my hockey-loving husband read.
However, with my books shelves as crowded as they are, I don't think this is a keeper. But would I gift it to journalist friends? Absolutely. (less)
If you love all things geek--video game, movie, comic book--if you have brown coat and aren't afraid to use it--if you succeed at a task and hear the...moreIf you love all things geek--video game, movie, comic book--if you have brown coat and aren't afraid to use it--if you succeed at a task and hear the Final Fantasy victory music play in your head--this book is for you. Geekomancy blends urban fantasy with the awesomeness of Ready Player One, though I found Geekomancy much more accessible. Ready Player One was all about the 1980s; Geekomancy isn't confined to any decade or media.
Ree is a great heroine--strong, yet vulnerable, completely at ease with her inner geek and not ashamed. She discovers that by tapping her media knowledge she can channel magic. That's right, the magic is derived of pop culture. Watch Princess Bride, and you're suddenly an expert swordsman. Watch an episode of the new Sherlock, and you see things with his incredible attention to detail, complete with text overlaying reality (this scene is one of the funniest in the book and had me giggling out loud).
It's easy to love Ree. Heck, it's easy to want to BE Ree. Most urban fantasies drop you in a world that is so dark that you would never want to exist there. That's not the case here. The book ended and I felt that cozy melancholy of enjoying another world and wanting it to linger a while longer. (less)
I've been a huge fan of Lederer's humorous compilations for some 15 years now. His books like Anguished English and Bride of Anguished English are kee...moreI've been a huge fan of Lederer's humorous compilations for some 15 years now. His books like Anguished English and Bride of Anguished English are keepers for my shelf. He's most famous for his collected World According to Student Bloopers, which is probably one of the most mass-emailed pieces of humor to grace the internet.
This book does include a slightly updated version of "World," but I found the cover blurb to be somewhat misleading. Humor isn't the focus of this book. Instead, the majority of the essays are on language and word play. There is some funny stuff intermixed, and some of the essays were downright fascinating ("How I Write" and "Literature Lives!"). Others dragged on for me. I enjoy a good pun or word play, but page after page? It gets tedious.
While this book wasn't quite what I was expecting--a sort of "Best Of" of his humor--it was an okay read, and one that language-lovers, writers, and English teachers will likely enjoy.(less)
Jillian Madison struck gold when she created a website for horrible auto-corrections from (not-so) smart phones. I love Damn You, Autocorrect! so I ha...moreJillian Madison struck gold when she created a website for horrible auto-corrections from (not-so) smart phones. I love Damn You, Autocorrect! so I had to buy the book when it came out this week. It's a riot. I own a lot of humor books, and this one made me laugh on almost every page. I'm talking deep belly laughs that actually made my abdominal muscles a tad sore. The book is that good. Love the site? Get the book.(less)
This book features a compilation of bad customer stories, all told in script form. One hundred are from their website, http://notalwaysright.com/, and...moreThis book features a compilation of bad customer stories, all told in script form. One hundred are from their website, http://notalwaysright.com/, and another hundred are brand new.[return][return]I won't waste time quoting or summarizing; just go to the website to see why this book is so extraordinary. Some of these people need to be removed from the gene pool and others... well, maybe they were just having a bad day. Reading this brings back fond memories of my own time in retail. Also, when I was battling a migraine and unable to stare at the computer monitor, I could read the book version and giggle the pain away.(less)
This is the newest Get Fuzzy Treasury. It's overall very good, but doesn't have as many favorites as the past treasuries. As always, Bucky Katt is hor...moreThis is the newest Get Fuzzy Treasury. It's overall very good, but doesn't have as many favorites as the past treasuries. As always, Bucky Katt is horrible and yet oh so wonderful. If you love Get Fuzzy, this is 247-pages of mirth. I bought one for me and one to give my mom for Christmas.(less)
This book was a quick, hilarious read last night, and was just what I needed after a day of stress. These actual pictures signs from around the world...moreThis book was a quick, hilarious read last night, and was just what I needed after a day of stress. These actual pictures signs from around the world try so hard to master the English language and fail in delightful ways:[return][return]SPEEDO CHECK AHEAD NEXT 5KM[return][return](less)
I needed a light read after reading several serious books, and this fit my needs nicely. This is a new treasury of Pearls Before Swine, an irreverent...moreI needed a light read after reading several serious books, and this fit my needs nicely. This is a new treasury of Pearls Before Swine, an irreverent daily comic I began following a few years back. It is known for idiotic crocodiles who want to eat their zebra neighbor (Helllooooo Zeeba!), egotistical Rat, pitiful yet endearing Pig, and a host of other amusing animal characters. Puns abound, and many are so awful that the character comment on the poor writing quality of their own strip.[return][return]The element that sets this apart from most other comic treasuries is that Stephan Pastis has commentary on many of the strips. I loved finding out what inspired a panel, which ones drew the most complaints (or caused a newspaper to cancel his strip), and how he spent an hour drawing some minute detail. In the back of the book, there are strips that were never published in newspapers due to potential backlash or the artist's own second thoughts.[return][return]I also want to add that the front and back cover of this is hilarious and I spent far too much time studying the details.(less)